Congrats to Criterion for deciding to pump out a new 4K digitally restored Bluray of Leo McCarey‘s The Awful Truth (’37), a classic screwball comedy about wealthy urbanites Jerry and Lucy Warriner (Cary Grant, Irene Dunne) attempting a divorce but failing to follow through. But Grant’s top hat on the jacket cover is like something out of the 19th Century, and it really spoils the art.
Unless I’m greatly mistaken Grant never even wears a top hat in The Awful Truth, although he does wear one in a nightclub scene in Bringing Up Baby. Secondly, the hat Grant is wearing on the Criterion jacket cover is way too tall — it looks like Abraham Lincoln‘s famous stovepipe. Stylish top hats of the 1930s were more modestly scaled, as an after-the-jump photo of Grant makes clear.
Screwball aficionados know that in The Awful Truth Grant’s character made light, sophisticated fun of Ralph Bellamy‘s Oklahoma Dan Leesen, Lucy’s new suitor, in almost exactly the same way that Grant’s Walter Burns would gently mock Bellamy’s Bruce Baldwin, another country bumpkin, in His Girl Friday three years later.